If the Hotel Muchele is synonymous with anything, it’s family.
This unique design hotel has been in the Ganthaler family for three generations, since Johann Ganthaler and his wife, Theresia Wolf, built the first site back in 1952. Set amongst the South Tyrol landscape, just 5km from the spa town of Merano, the 40-suite Muchele has been in the hands of this family from day one:
“Children, I’ve held every stone in this hotel in my own hands twice over.” Johann reminisces.
In 1980, Johann and Theresia’s son, Hansjörg, a trained architect, took over the hotel with his beautiful wife, Franziska Waldner. Today, their daughters, Martina, Priska and Anna, are Muchele’s third generation owners; although the magic behind it is still dedicated to them all:
“Five is the magic number. There are five of us in the family, so one of us is always flitting around.”
And there’s no shortage of magic at Muchele. There’s something very enchanting about this place; blending seamlessly into the natural backdrop of Burgstall, the architecture succeeds in being both quirky and harmonious all at the same time. The panoramic view from the terrace provides guests with a spectacular vista of mountain scenery, rich in Porphyry stone, chestnut wood and greenery. Step inside and you’ll find much the same palette — from the Porphyry on the façade to the chestnut wood décor and green illuminated balconies. As these sustainably-conscious hoteliers put it, “Nature and architecture become one.” Helped in part by the large floor to ceiling windows and suddenly you’re at one with nature too.
The Ganthaler’s have an unusual concept for their hotel, and that is, that there is none. Bound by no rules, you instantly get a sense of their fun, free-spirited nature. Bohemians at heart, the path to their success is simple:
“We simply surround ourselves with beautiful things; enjoy the finest foods and treasure a wonderfully, easy-going atmosphere. Our guests, each with their individual tastes and tales, are always the centre of our attention.”
Descendants of Michael Ganthaler, a freedom fighter in the 1800s, this family-strong hotel is as powerful as its namesake. Today, sisters Martina and Priska, share the running of the hotel. Martina handles much of the marketing, whilst Priska, a qualified sommelier, is the inspiration behind “Cuvée”, Muchele’s very own delicatessen and winery. Wining and dining are a huge focus, with Martina and Priska both having studied at the Kaiserhof catering college. The renowned Evelin Frank now takes the helm as head chef and guests are regularly invited to an exciting behind-the-scenes “experience” in the kitchen. The unconventional dining room a kaleidoscope of light, colour and atmosphere, once again bringing the outside, in.
‘Tata’ Ganthaler assuredly has the best job in the house — wine tasting! But when he’s not sampling the latest vintages, or overseeing the many renovations, Hansjörg can be found turning tables as hotel DJ — don’t miss his residency on Thursday nights!
Anna, the youngest and the family fashionista (she accompanied Merano designer Dmitri to Berlin Fashion Week), has a natural love of beauty and Ayurveda, spreading joy and wellbeing at “Anna‘s Spa”. Guests are pampered with an array of Ayurvedic treatments and can enjoy the many facilities on-site, including a gym, tennis court, two pools, sauna and steam, all situated opposite the Lana golf club. Free mountain bike hire is also available. Unwind or invigorate — the choice is yours at the Muchele.
As for ‘Mama’ Ganthaler, these days she’s mostly found running their second successful development, the Poggio Antico in Le Marche, an old country estate turned into charming guesthouses.
The magic that is the Muchele, and the incredible family behind it, was recognised in 2017 when the prestigious international Future Prize was bestowed upon the hotel, as Trendsetter in architecture, ecology and gastronomy. Trendsetters the Ganthaler’s most certainly are — from the unique hotel façade to the stunning bar created by Merano designer, Moroso; to the ambitious hotel facelift in 2014, assisted by architect Stephan Marx, and finally, the new design suites and rooftop penthouses designed by the celebrated Patricia Urquiola. All or nothing, these forward-thinking hoteliers went for all and won.
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